We hope you are feeling especially lucky this St. Patrick's Day! Click the link below to watch a special St. Patrick's Day message from Carolyn A. Thompson. … [Read more...] about 2 Minutes With Thompson Law: Lucky
I am sure many of you read the title and think I am crazy, right? I mean Sofia Vegara (ABC’s Modern Family) is gorgeous, intelligent, a savvy business woman, and has a great sense of humor. So who wouldn’t want to end up in Sofia’s shoes? Well recently, Sofia has been going through a custody battle for her embryos with her ex-fiancé. Yes, you read that correctly. A custody battle for her embryos. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has opened a new legal battlefield and if you are not … [Read more...] about Standard Form Contracts: Don’t End Up Like Sofia Vergara!
Every year we wait in anticipation…no not for holiday music to start playing in the mall…but for the Internal Revenue Service to release the amount you can pass estate tax free upon your death (the Unified Credit Against Estate Tax). Alright, perhaps I am stretching the level of anticipation, I mean I am very excited to start listening to holiday music again. However, in all seriousness, as we sit around with our families over the holidays, many will wonder what will happen to their family … [Read more...] about Christmas is Around the Corner: Is the IRS in a Gifting Mood?
Take a moment right now to stop and think about a few of your fondest childhood memories. Is there a physical item – a game, a picture, a tool or some other “thing” – connected to that memory? For me, I think of my grandma’s candy jar. My cousins and I would often try to sneak a hard butterscotch candy without her hearing – it rarely worked! I smile as I look at that candy jar now sitting on my kitchen counter, and appreciate that my hearing is just as sharp as hers was when my own kids try to … [Read more...] about Make a Big Impact with the Little Things
Many people have heard the old adage, “There are only two things that are certain in life: death and taxes.” Both of these certainties have probably caused each of us some concern at one point or another during our lives. Many of the clients who I have the pleasure to work with are particularly concerned about the federal estate tax. One of the most common questions that I get asked is, “How much are my children going to have to pay in taxes when I die?” Currently, the federal estate and … [Read more...] about What will your kids pay in taxes when you die?
Perhaps you have heard the story of Wellington R. Burt, a man who was at one time among the eight wealthiest Americans. Under the terms of his will, the bulk of his estate would not be distributed until 21 years after the death of his last surviving grandchild. Now, 92 years after his death, 12 of his distant heirs will share his estate valued at around $110 million. Not all inheritances are quite so large or quite so unexpected. Nonetheless, the prospect of an inheritance, whether expected … [Read more...] about The Realities of Inheriting
It is almost that time of year again – harvest is nearly upon us! Harvest is the time when you reap what you have sown, and a bountiful harvest presents a unique opportunity for gift planning. If you are making contributions to charitable organizations, or if you desire to start doing so, consider gifting grain rather than cash. Several charitable organizations accept gifts of grain. For example, if you want to make a gift to your alma mater, several Midwestern universities and colleges … [Read more...] about The Gift of Grain
So often, the focus of estate planning is only on how assets will transfer upon one’s death. However, one aspect of estate planning that should not be overlooked is planning for incapacity. Even though it’s not an easy thought to process, many of us will go through a period of incapacity prior to death. If you become incapacitated, who will manage your financial affairs? Who will make your health care decisions? One key tool for planning for incapacity is called a Power of Attorney. A Power … [Read more...] about Are you prepared for incapacity?
As much as I love my acreage at home – the hills, the trees, the sense of peace – I love to go to new places and take in the unique experiences that a particular area has to offer. I also love the challenge of seeing how much I can fit into a carry-on bag! I recall asking one farmer where he and his wife liked to travel – whether they were the Las Vegas or the Florida type. A big smile spread across the gentleman’s face, and he said, “Las Vegas? I farmed for 31 years. I gambled more than … [Read more...] about No Excuses – Take the Trip!
Few things are as heart-wrenching as a dispute among family members. We expect family to be a place of love and relative harmony in our often-tumultuous world. Even the thought of such a horrible occurrence may be unsettling. But, problems in an estate or trust can often cause deep divisions in a family, divisions that outside forces might never have been able to cause. For example, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King’s children, ended up in litigation shortly after Coretta’s … [Read more...] about Family Feud—Don’t Let This Be Your Legacy